Smaller Houses, Bigger Lives

By Abe WalkingBear Sanchez

Some younger people fear that in their future they will not do as well materially as their parents' generation. Well I have good news and better news.
GM (General Motors), the old GM that once roamed the world stage like a 900 pound gorilla not the "new" smaller and more humble GM that filed for bankruptcy, came up with the idea that the car you drove defined who you were and created different brands for different classes of consumers.
The same concept was applied to other products...your stuff defined you and people were constantly told and bought into the idea that the quantity and quality of their stuff reflected their worth as a person. He who dies with the most stuff wins. This excessive consumption and accumulation of goods knowing that there were others in need is the very definition of greed, which is both an economic and moral sin.
Proof that people around the world bought into the "pack rat" mindset is the number of mini-storage warehouses, garages, attics, basements and storage sheds bulging with unused and often forgotten stuff. This accumulation is fed by fear, God forbid someone points out that you are wearing/using the same "old thing". There is a company now called, yes..Pack Rat, which will bring a really big box out to your home and when you've filled it with stuff they'll pick it up and store it for you.
The consumer society is about more than just need, or at least physical's a sickness.
But we are recovering from the fever and awakening from the consumption nightmare .
Since WWII we have had several generations sell the most precious thing they have...their lives, for stuff they really didn't need or even used. It was OK to spend more time with your co-workers than with your family. Fighting rush hour traffic was a good thing because your kids could then wear the "right" shoes. Better an expensive electronic toy then tossing a ball with your kids or just sitting and talking..but all that is coming to an end.
Our future lives are not about the quantity of the stuff we possess or which possesses us , but rather about "quality essentials". In the physical world this concept of "quality essentials" is manifested in education, energy, health care and the goods we produce.
Technology brings with it new efficiencies, a greater return for the investment made and is the basis for "quality essentials" and for new understandings about what is good and right, about new values.
In Native American teachings children are told that life is a gift and that they are also given free will and can choose the road they walk in life. The Red Road is based on love , the Black Road is based on fear and is about focus on self . The opposite of love is not hate its fear for hate like all moral and economic sins is fear based.
Irrational fear holds back the change for the better. Fear creates what the Toltecs called mitote, the fog of the mind and of the soul which clouds our vision but once we let go of the fear and stop giving it energy the fog dissipates.
My friend and mentor , Jack Brightnose, a Cree medicine man once told me that words are magic, that the very idea that by making sounds or putting down symbols we can paint picture in the minds of others is magical, and that we get to choose whether we practice white magic (love) or black magic (fear).
The good news is that the world economy is changing from one based on saturation and excess to one based on fewer "quality essentials" . The better news is that people will be set free from the consumption nightmare.
Through the use of computer and communication technology we are sharing what we have learned and reaching new levels of efficiency; and in so doing we are moving away from an "us and them" time into the time of the "we"; a time of smaller houses and bigger lives.
Mitakuye Oyasin (we are all related).
Thanks so very much Abe for sharing this article with us.


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead